Telluride Yoga Festival: Peter Sterios, LEVITYOGA

Scroll down to the bottom of this post to hear an interview with Peter Sterios

Peter Sterios

Peter Sterios

Tickets/passes here.

Day to day, do our actions on this earth have significance and therefore weight? Or is it all much ado about nothing? Do our actions have no impact whatsoever, making them “light.” That philosophical question is the leitmotif of Milan Kundera’s best-seller “The Unbearable Lightness of Being.”

Ask yoga entrepreneur Peter Sterios, a fixture at the Telluride Yoga Festival, that question and he will likely answer that our actions have gravity and therefore weight, but also grace and lightness – but “lightness” only in the good sense of the concept. And he would go further, adding that on and off the mat, our actions can and should have “levity.”

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For years, I have used the terms ‘gravity’ and ‘grace’ to describe two similar elements that create forces of attraction – one physical and one non-physical – that are accessible through the practice of yoga. Both help support us, releasing unwanted patterns of contraction in our bodies: physical, mental, and emotional. Over the last year, it has become clear that the beauty of applying these principles to our practice is the lightness they create in body and mind. Understanding ‘gravity’ and ‘grace’ at a deeper level, I searched for a single word that would help describe the feeling of lightness they generate in action, and then it came: the term is ‘levity.’

The dictionary describes levity as follows: “1. lightness of mind, character, or behavior; 2. lightness in weight.” Definitions which suggest that the notion of levity operates both psychologically and physically.

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For me, these definitions perfectly describe the effects of the practice of yoga the way I teach the discipline. And as a result of this realization, moving forward, I will use the term “LEVITYOGA” to sum up my methodology. Obviously, a single word is limited in its ability to say it all about a program, however, in this day and age of branding yoga, the idea of LEVITYOGA offers those who practice or teach yoga according to the principles of gravity and grace a convenient handle that sums up a unique approach to practice – and to life.” 

Peter Sterios premieres LEVITYOGA at the upcoming Telluride Yoga Festival, Thursday, July 9 – Sunday, July 12.

“I am excited to return to Telluride to share the idea of LEVITYOGA in a variety of class formats to a wide variety of students, from beginner to intermediate.”

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LEVITYOGA overlaid on the template of Peter’s signature approach to practice, “Gravity & Grace, Yoga for Longevity,” will show up in three classes: Friday, July 10, 11 a.m., “The Healing Power of Surrender and Intuitive Response”; Saturday, July 11, 8 a.m., “Intelligent Yoga, Tools for Rewiring Your Subtle Body”; and Sunday, July 12, 3 p.m. “Gravity & Grace, Yoga for Longevity.”

An internationally recognized teacher based in San Luis Obispo, California, Peter Sterios has been part of the American yoga community for over four decades. The award-winning, green architect is also a founder (in 1997) of Manduka, a leading eco-yoga products company (and event sponsor) and a writer, with articles appearing in Yoga Journal, Elephant Journal, etc. In 2012 and 2013, Peter was part of select group of instructors who taught yoga at the White House for Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity initiative. He co-founded karmaNICA, a nonprofit whose mission is to help impoverished young people in western Nicaragua.

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“Gravity & Grace,” an approach to a practice Peter developed over 30 years of study and practice in America and India, rests squarely on the ancient yoga teachings as they were channeled through Sri Krishnamacharya, the man credited with opening the door of yoga to the West. In the classes Peter will teach at the Telluride Yoga Festival, he will challenge students to observe how the subtle external force of gravity influences what they are doing on their mats and offer ways to surrender to any resistance experienced in their physical (and emotional) body. The idea is that by softening to the resistance through the breath, we become stronger inside and out. If we are no longer distracted by muscular tensions, if we are no longer a slave to external stimuli of any kind, we can become more attuned to the life force, prana, as it travels on the breathe throughout our bodies.

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To learn more about Peter Sterios, LEVITYOGA, Gravity and Grace, and his classes, click the “play” button and listen to our chat.

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